Intelligent speed cameras to be rolled out across UK roads to detect drivers using phones

Intelligent speed cameras are set to be rolled out across UK roads
-Credit: (Image: Greg Martin)

Smart speed cameras that can detect drivers using phones and not wearing seatbelts are set to be rolled out across roads in the UK. Some cameras, which can see into cars, are already up and running on motorways and other major networks as part of a national trial.

The cameras use the latest technology to detect motorists breaking road rules most likely to cause deadly crashes. More of them are being fitted in the north of England following a successful trial in parts of the UK, with a national rollout likely to follow over the next few years.

The increased surveillance will make it harder for drivers to avoid touching or using their phones at the wheel. Trials showed that 0.3% were observed using a mobile phone while driving, increasing to 0.8% in the evenings, BirminghamLive reported.

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This could mean 150,000 to 400,000 British drivers are still using handheld devices illegally while driving. Official statistics show only 13,332 people were caught and punished for this offence in 2023.

Motorists are now being warned to prepare for increased monitoring over the coming years. Motoring expert Gary Digva, from Road Angel, said: “Introducing these high-tech cameras is a positive step forward in helping to reduce the number of accidents caused by motorists using handheld devices while driving.

“By capturing drivers holding and using mobile phones behind the wheel, the new cameras will be able to penalise many more motorists than the old legacy systems are currently able to. Despite the number of drivers being observed using handheld devices falling, the recent Government study shows that as many as 400,000 Brits could still be breaking the law and putting lives at risk.

“The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice show that convictions of drivers using a handheld device nearly doubled compared to the previous year as new cameras were introduced. As the Vector SR and other high-tech cameras capable of seeing inside vehicles replace legacy systems across Britain the number of prosecutions is set to skyrocket."

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